Tag Archives: engagement

How prAna is Using Facebook

If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to our RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!

prAna LogoprAna is the Sanskrit word for ‘vital life’ (from the root prā ‘to fill’, cognate to Latin plenus ‘full’).  The backbone for this company is it’s strength in its name and their belief in mindful living and an eco-conscious clothing line.

prAna has grown from a small garage startup and evolved into a company focused around Yoga, Rock Climbing and the outdoor lifestyle.  As it has grown, the Southern California based company has been highly involved in many alliances with progressive partners.

This article will focus on prAna’s Facebook Page as an example of engagement, content sharing, and the community around prAna as a brand and an online entity.

Background

prAna’a Facebook page had its initial start date on April 1st of 2009. A prAna spokesperson states that their involvement with Facebook started because,

Facebook currently lends itself well to sharing a steady stream of information that that characterizes many of the core interests we have as a company including the groups that have been with us for nearly 20 years (i.e. climbing, yoga & conservation). We now have the opportunity to discuss many of the other topics that are important to our “Tribe”; local/organic foods, mindful living, renewable energy, education and philanthropy among others.

prAna chose Facebook as their primary engagement platform because of it’s manipulation factor, reach, and ability to touch people from all walks of life. Facebook was chosen over Twitter, YouTube, and the prAna Blog. According to prAna, the emphasis on Facebook is because the Blog provides only a “one-way” stream of information; outgoing from the blog to the users, and reciprocating engagement is much tougher than through Facebook. YouTube wasn’t chosen as it also provides an almost one-way only directionality, with little opportunities to engage.

The Plan

Starting at around 6,000 followers, the prAna team had the idea to begin a giveaway every 1,000 new fans. The giveaway originally consisted of giving away one item of choice from the prAna online store. These fans would be publicly announced, and they would receive an email asking them to choose their item and provide their details. prAna’s post would look something like this:

Congratulations to (NAME) the 2nd winner of the 20k Fan “Bucket List” Giveaway! He would like to see the world through the eyes of another. (NAME) gets to choose ANY item from prAna.com and we are also throwing in some added goodies for him! There were so many inspiring things that you want to… do that you have motivated many of us. Thank you for continuing to support us and Share the prAna love!

prAna Rock ClimbingAll of the messages are customized, and reflect the individual who won. Each giveaway gives the fans of the page the opportunity to interact with the prAna website and the influencer through the Facebook page. The fans get the opportunity to browse the online store, know the products and incentive to participate and share their experience.

Recently, prAna switched to running giveways from every 1,000 fans to every 5,000, due to their page’s rapid growth.

Aside from their giveaways, prAna shares some very interesting content that aligns with their brand. The posted content is then watched over for “likes” or comments. Replies are made to concerns, clarifications, or just simply conversation to the fans of prAna. There is no one simple topic that prAna focuses on, but instead a range of topics that essentially encase and describe the brand.

What to Post

According to the spokesperson from prAna, the content that is posted through the Facebook page is,

A little bit of a trade secret, but let me say that is essential that a company takes a look at themselves in the mirror and determine who they are. What I mean is that if an organization is committed to opening the lines of conversation with its community, they must first determine what values are core to their company. Secondly they must actively listen and monitor what topics are important to their base. These two pieces of information will then allow their community department to find topics that support their company values and appeal to their customer base. To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there. Kofi Annan

*It is essential that a community manager/team be careful not to let their personal values overly influence the content posted

Results

Since prAna began their efforts through Facebook, their level of engagement both on “personal and professional level” has seen an incredible increase.

Their number of Fans (now Likers) has increased about 1,829 new Fans per month.

prAna Fan Growh Chart

The reflection of the growth in terms of ROI isn’t measured by prAna; they are more focused on engagement and aligning their social efforts with their company mission, than sales.

prAna’s Facebook page is a prime model for Facebook engagement and an example of how brands can utilize Facebook pages to engage their audience and share their company values.

Become a Fan of prAna on Facebook and see for yourself what they’re doing on Facebook. What questions or ideas do you have for them?

Image Credit prAna Blog

Social Media Is Cool, But Don’t Forget About Other Ways To Engage Your Audience

If you’re like many companies, you’re probably engaging your audience and customers through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Maybe you have keyword searches set up to track mentions of your company and keywords, are responding when people mention you or ask you a question and are generally trying to add value to conversations out there to build trust. Maybe you’re also putting exclusive content and deals out on these sites to reward people for following you.

Don’t forget about engaging people in other ways, too.

You have at least a few other tools at your disposal to engage people in other ways. Consider taking advantage of these methods of getting people’s attention and engaging them.

Email

If you’re not using email effectively, you probably shouldn’t even be worrying about setting up a good Facebook page or using Twitter the right way. Email is still often the best way to engage people. If your customers have already opted-in to receive emails from you, you can engage them in email through a variety of ways. This can be anything from a simple email from a real human thanking the customer for purchasing and asking for ideas on how the company can be doing a better job to complex action-based email campaigns.

Assuming you’re using a good email service provider, you should be able to automatically send campaigns to people based on a variety of actions (opens, clicks, purchases, order size, frequency of purchase, date of last purchase, etc).

You also should be able to send emails to people and engage them based on what pages of you’re website they’ve visited. You may be starting to think about rewarding people for “checking in” to your business via a geo-location service like Foursquare. Don’t forget that you can reward people for checking in or visiting your website, too.

Lastly, you should have a strategy in place for re-engaging inactive people in your database. Depending on your goals and situation, you may even want to have a separate reactivation strategy for your different audience segments (people who’ve never bought from you, people who’ve bought once, people who have opened but not bought, etc).

Direct Mail and Letters

Direct mail might not have the buzz around it that some newer online platforms have, but it isn’t dead. You can still send out some cool, attention-grabbing pieces through the mail. Or it can be as simple as writing your customers a hand-written letter every now and then. This goes a long way to show someone you’re thinking about them and that you appreciate them.

Phone Calls

Many people might prefer to engage with you via email or through social networks. But others would rather talk to you on the phone. Phone calls are a great way to build on a relationship that’s been created through social media or email and make things more personal. You’re not limited to 140 characters, and it’s a lot easier to tell someone’s tone of voice and mood through a phone call. What if you called each of your customers and just thanked them for being a customer? Or just told them you were thinking about them and wanted to touch base? Talking to someone on the phone is a great way to show you care.

Surveys and Polls (Online and Offline)

It’s important to learn what’s important to your audience, right? Instead of trying to guess, you can just ask them. You can use complicated survey tools and software or use simple 10-question surveys and free tools like Surveymonkey and Polldaddy to understand what people want, what they think of you, and what is important to them.

Events

Events are another great way to engage people. While social media, email and phone calls are great, there is still no substitute for talking to someone face-to-face. Depending on your goals, you may want to make the face-to-face meeting with someone your goal and use social media, email and phone calls to get there.

You can engage people at industry-specific events, take them out to fun (non-work events), or even host your own event for your best customers and clients. The nice thing about the latter is that you not only give your audience a chance to meet and learn from you; you’re giving them a chance to meet and learn from each other. And events are fun!

Apps and Games

The market for useful, entertaining and informational apps and games is poised to explode. As more people buy robust mobile devices such as iPhones, Droids, Blackberrys and iPads, there will be even more ways to reach people and engage them in new formats. If you can create and app or game that engages your audience and holds their attention, this will help drive awareness, leads, sales and repeat customers.

Those are a few ideas for other ways (besides social media) to engage people. The best thing to do would be to test a variety of ways and see what works and which ones work best together. You may find that all of these work well or maybe only one of them does.

Now that you’ve read my ideas, what ideas would you share with people on how they can engage their audience?